BOCA RATON – Not too long ago comic Avi Liberman looked forward to returning to his Los Angeles home following a long tour.
Now, not so much.
“Until L.A. gets back to normal I don’t have any interest in hanging around there,” Liberman said. “Even before COVID it was going downhill. There were homeless everywhere. A guy was shooting heroin in my alley. You go back a few years, that wasn’t happening. The city’s been kind of ruined. I hate saying it.”
Like many comics, Liberman is finding South Florida much more hospitable.
Residing at a friend’s place in Sunny Isles for the past couple weeks, Liberman is making the most of his stay in South Florida.
In recent weeks he’s performed twice in Boca Raton – including quick spots at The Dubliner and on Wednesday at the Sadman Speakeasy show.
“Here you have great shows like this where I can get on and practice my craft, where in L.A. there’s basically nothing,” Liberman said following that Sadman Speakeasy performance.
A veteran comic who has performed on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central’s Premium Blend and Make Me Laugh, Liberman boasts acting credits including Dave’s World, Boston Common and Anytown, USA.
Liberman enjoyed a fairly unique pandemic experience prior to arriving in South Florida.
A dual citizen of the United States and Israel, Liberman traveled to Israel mid-pandemic for what he thought would be a couple weeks. Seven months later he was still there.
“Everyone in California was like, ‘Don’t come back,” Liberman said.
He used Israel as a base to travel. Now he’s looking to get back into comedy and screen writing.
Liberman took advantage of Zoom teleconferencing to stay connected with Hollywood producers, but when it comes to stand-up comedy, there is no substitute to performing live.
Liberman has a couple upcoming shows in South Florida.
With clubs in Los Angeles and New York finally beginning to emerge from pandemic-imposed restrictions, there is finally some stage time available on the west coast.
There’s also plenty of competition for that stage time. Finding time in South Florida hasn’t been difficult.
“As opposed to LA, which is flooded with comics, and it’s tough,” Liberman said. “You’re fighting for stage time there and if you’re a club owner, who are you going to put on? This guy or a guy that’s done the Tonight Show 15 times?”
That’s not a problem Liberman’s faced in South Florida.
“You come own here there are fewer headliners that have been doing it for 20 to 25 years,” Liberman said. “It’s nice. People come to me down here and they ask me to be on their shows.”